The WTA Players’ Council has made it clear that it is committed to “protecting everyone as much as possible,” according to Jessica Pegula. French tennis player Fiona Ferro, 25, claims that former coach Pierre Bouteyre sexually attacked and raped her between 2012 and 2015, when she was between the ages of 15 and 18.
Victoria Azarenka stated that such things “happen right and left on the Tour” after learning about the Ferro case. Pegula, a member of the WTA Players’ Council alongside Azarenka, was questioned regarding the role of the WTA Players’ Council in preventing coaches from abusing and exploiting young players.
“We obviously speak for the players and strive to keep everyone as safe as possible. When Vika [Azarenka] notices something that’s not right or exhibits strange behavior or something of the sort, I believe she can attest to it since she has had so much experience and has been on tour for such a long time.
I believe that from the perspective of the player council, we simply want to emphasize it and want to emphasize what things aren’t acceptable, has anyone spoken to this girl, to this coach? Anyone like to explain X, Y, Z, or the peculiarity of the situation? I learned about this from a few girls, “Pegula clarified.
Pegula: We want to guarantee the safety of young girls.
Pegula continued, “I believe bringing it to light early today is lot easier to accomplish than I think it was maybe 20 years ago when things weren’t as talked about and wasn’t as open about things.
“I believe doing it involves a lot of minor things. And the player council is really concerned about that. In addition, I believe that because we are all a little older and have more experience as players, we have a protective attitude toward all the young females and want to ensure that they are well-protected.”
Pegula overcame Petra Kvitova in the meanwhile to get to the US Open quarterfinals. Iga Swiatek, the top-seeded player, will face Pegula for a spot in the US Open semifinal.